Skip to main content
7:00 am
policy toward latin america with a political science professor. and then a conversation on the future of the hybrid and electric car industry. "washington journal" is next. . . .
7:01 am
7:02 am
7:03 am
the president's efforts to give the economy on track. that is this morning from "the washington post." the report breaking this morning about a plane crashed in the route, "the new york times" online have the story about the airplane crashing near beirut in stormy weather. officials said that 82 passengers and eight crew members were on board. we will update the information as we get it. ruth, democratic line. caller: i am not quite sure if we ever did what we were
7:04 am
promising. to try and help people who were in trouble with their mortgages. i think that we took the wrong approach to begin with. so many people that were out of their homes. the fact ripples through the economy. -- the of fact ripples through the economy. let's help -- bethe effedctct te riffles through the economy. if the loan was renegotiated to what it was really worth, they can afford it, but the communication that happening.
7:05 am
host: or you hit by the mortgage crisis at all? caller: i was not, i have a system set up with my children. but the news in the country, it boggles my mind. congress is not working. host: thank you for the call, more politics are coming up in the program. citrus, california. carol? caller: good morning. i do not believe that the banks of doing what they're supposed to do.
7:06 am
i have been trying to save my home for 15 months. they have strongly along this whole time for a trial modification. i do not know that we should give them more money until we do them -- until they do the right thing. host: clovis, independent line. jason, how are you? the caller: i do not know how much more people think of the american taxpayer can support. it is coming to the ford -- to the point where there is no difference between democrats and republicans. bush started the stimulus bailout. everything from the stimulus package to the wars, obama is doing the same thing that bush did. fear there is no difference. that is what you are seeing in
7:07 am
boston -- there is no difference. that is what you are seeing in boston. people are tired of the same old song. that is all that i have. you have a great day. host: jason mentioned government aid. the piece this morning in "the washington post" addresses that. "$220 billion in september 2008 to buy mortgage-backed securities before ending the program. $1.25 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities, the largest single intervention the central bank has undertaken amid the financial crisis. fannie mae and freddie mac, the two firms that own or guarantee half of the nation's $12 trillion mortgage market, were taken over by the government in september 2008. the move helped these firms
7:08 am
borrow at low rates because lenders know they cannot fail. on christmas eve, the treasury said it would cover all of their losses, but the holdings of mortgage-backed securities must be scaled back." luis, good morning. should the federal government be doing more in terms of mortgage aid? caller: thank you for taking my call. i do not believe that it should continue. it seems to me, and i could be wrong, but that that -- this is the real-estate industry seeking to prop themselves up. this should not continue any longer, everything comes to an end at some point. host: other news reported by al- jazeera network yesterday. "osama bin laden has warned barack obama, the u.s. president, that there will be
7:09 am
further attacks on the united states unless he takes steps to resolve the palestinian situation. in an audiotape obtained by al- jazeera on sunday, the al qaeda chief, praised the nigerian accused of the christmas day bombing." we would give a listen to a translation of that tape. -- we will get a listen to a translation of that tape. >> made peace beyond those that osama bin laden brings guidance to. our message, carried by words, conveyed to you through the flame of the hero, we have proved that the heroes of 9/11 can be effective. the message is that america will never dream of living in peace
7:10 am
unless we lived it in palestine. it is not fear -- it is not fair that you enjoy a safe life while our brothers in gaza suffered greatly. with god's will, we will continue as long as you continue to support israel. peace be on those that follow the lead of guidance. host: that tape was released yesterday. first, a quick political note, marion barry is set to announce his retirement after seven terms, according to two sources. the move would make him the 2nd arkansas democrat to announce plans this month to forgo a reelection bid. he would be the 12 house democrats to retire this year. republicans are certain to
7:11 am
target his seat. it is being reported elsewhere this morning, and the announcement is expected today. is the federal government doing enough? massachusetts, carol, democratic line. caller: good morning. first of all, i do not like the government's hands being in things. they have enough control over other things. i can only speak for my own community. i live in a very unique community in a very rural area. we had so many new homes built in this community and it is a joke. all of the residents called them a little mansions. you know as well as i do, not everyone can afford that kind of
7:12 am
a house. my thought behind this is why can the banks said it out where people could pay a tax on the house, but rented to them and charge a lower rent that would, eventually, buildup to a down payment to purchase the house. we need jobs. if the people do not get to work, where are they going to get the money to help the economy? host: these little mansions that you mention, lots of these folks are having trouble making those mortgage payments? caller: yes. host: california, independent line. caller: hello.
7:13 am
i am with wells fargo, my mortgages with them. it took me one your workout. nothing went down except the payments. the main mortgage went from $185,000 to $200,000. i still have not gotten confirmation from them and it has been three months. other people are being told, through them, that they are going to lose their house, that they are being foreclosed upon immediately. there are a lot of people involved in this. it is a little hard, doing this on a fixed income. i have a disability that is hidden. i have osteoporosis.
7:14 am
host: did all of your aid come through wells fargo? caller: i found out, about three-quarters of the way through, the home assistance mortgage program. i forget what it entails. it was carried by freddie mac. i did not even know that. there was nothing in the paperwork to state that it was carried by freddie mac. host: thank you for calling in this morning. more this morning about mortgage help from the u.s. government -- from "the baltimore sun" it says "murky message stymies obama. with congressional support eroding, his popularity falling and his renomination of federal reserve chairman ben bernanke
7:15 am
potentially in trouble, president obama faces an even more daunting task in saving his entire domestic agenda and persuading millions of angry americans that his economic policies will bring them a brighter future. even as the economy has begun calling its way out of the great recession and job losses have slowed dramatically, critics on the left and right, even party loyalists, say that the president has failed to articulate a clear economic vision." one more thing on jobs in "usa today" this morning, "a survey of 58 economists think that 61 percent sign -- think that 61% more could be done." valerie jarrett spoke on sunday morning about the stimulus jobs. >> remember where we were one
7:16 am
year ago? we were in the middle of the worst economic meltdown in our nation's history. the financial system was on the brink of collapse. what has happened over the last 12 months? we are no longer losing 700,000 jobs per month. that number has been cut and the less than 10%. we have turned it around invite in the right-. -- turned it around and brought it in the right direction. >> you cannot say that you have turned the economy around when the stimulus has not done what the president said it would. >> i disagree. we pulled back from the brink of disaster serial -- disaster. this is a long haul, and we are not satisfied, having any american at work on a buoyant. the president takes at the heart each and every day. -- takes it too hard each and
7:17 am
every day. that does not mean that we give up and that jobs are not priority one. host: democratic caller, georgia. caller: by agree totally with the young lady. -- i agree totally with the young lady. the people that have the money and have the right to do with the money would ever want to, there is nothing governing them. the only thing that the president can do is try to rectify everything on the election after election. they do not want anything. the people that control the stimulus package money, the bailout for the realtors', the bankers wanted to put it in their pocket.
7:18 am
money for the people will always be put in the pocket of bankers. right now there is no difference between democrat in republican -- democrat and republican, they are in the same boat. that is my opinion. host: naples, florida. kathy. caller: the system is not working. my son was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis one year ago. he was given a flimsy mortgage they did not qualify for relief. they sent to a package back then raised his principal by 30,000, he had closing costs and his second mortgage was still out there. now he has a high and the turning. the attorney is doing a short sale, taking about six months. now he is out of a home. it is not working.
7:19 am
the other big problem in florida, as a real-estate agent, you cannot get jumbo mortgages, so people with large homes cannot sell. host: thank you for your comments this morning. this one is from twittered. "i do not think the federal mortgage aid is getting to the people that needed." republican caller, texas. go ahead. caller: you should not be giving mortgages to people that did not afford them. my parents never got a house until they retired. if you do not have the money to buy a house, you cannot buy a house. host: it is not clear, this is according to the president of the information of innovation
7:20 am
technology institute, i what ob. it hurts the administration. it becomes harder to convey vision of where you want to go." president obama's adviser david axelrod was on "this week" and here is what he had to say. flax no one wanted to have to throw the lifeline to the financial sector. no one wanted to shore up the auto industry. no one wanted that emergency recovery act as our first initiative. our responsibility was to make sure that the economy did not take into a second great depression. that was a real possibility. i have no regrets about that. history will look back and said the president of the united states met his responsibility.
7:21 am
one of a great burden on middle- class families across the country, whether they have insurance or not, on small businesses and government generally, is the cost of health care. what the president has tried to do and continues to try to do is to deal with that so that people do not face bankruptcy when they get sick. if you have a pre-existing condition, you get covered. this is all part of bringing economic security to the american people. host: that was david axelrod yesterday. is more federal mortgage aid needed? that is our question this morning. from "the washington post" they ride "a few federal officials and many industry advocates disagree." polk county, florida.
7:22 am
caller: i have been affected, me and my family, from these mortgages. all i can say to these folks in florida, you need to contact the state and bureau of finance regulators. we have been struggling for a year-and-a-half. our next governor, i hope -- we have been with bank of america for years. we have a bad mortgage. we have filed three counts of fraud. there is hope out there, but you have got to contact the right people. host: you are saying that the right people for you was the state of florida and up the federal government? caller: yes, they'll help us tremendously. like i said, our secretary for the state of florida, running
7:23 am
for governor, let me tell you -- that lady is sharp, she knows the problems of florida is in. she is on top of the big mortgage companies and holding them accountable for the fraudulent loans that they have passed through that should not have been passed through. listen to me, folks in florida. do not short sell your home. get a hold of the state of florida regulation department. there regulate the banks and will help you. do not shorts sell your home. host: looking at some of these blogs this morning about the issue federal relief mortgage aid, there is a report -- "at the end of march, 2010, the federal program start -- stop purchasing and mortgage interest rates will most likely go up 1%. meaning that conventional mortgage rates would be around
7:24 am
6%. this is still not unattractive, but nowhere near as attractive as 4.8%. michael, welcome. go ahead. caller: in the house and senate, there is a program that would have allowed reflection on the value of the home. it makes the larger point that democrats and republicans are not that far apart. in the future i would like to see c-span having guest on that outside of the narrow range of interests of the republican and democratic party. people that are generally liberal -- genuinely liberal. wanting to help homeowners and the poor in general.
7:25 am
host: you hear -- the feel you are not hearing that voice on this program? caller: i think it your idea of representing the spectrum of opinions is to have a republican and democrat talk about a particular issue, and i think they actually see i die on certain issues, like mortgage reform. -- actually see eye to eye on certain issues like mortgage reform. host: we welcome your opinion on issues like that. next caller, go ahead. caller: the federal reserve, purchasing $1.20 trillion of distressed mortgage-backed securities because there is no
7:26 am
market for them? host: the store was from this morning, if i can find it i will show it again. hostcaller: i am fairly certaint they paid face value because no one else would buy them. they could have purchased those at a discount and lower the principal of the mortgage amount, making some money for the government, making it easier for homeowners to stay in their homes. they should give banks full face value for mortgage-backed securities. lowering the principal on the mortgages. host: thank you for the call. he was talking about this piece from "the washington post."
7:27 am
this morning. "the federal reserve has pledged to purchase $1.25 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities." ben bernanke cost term ends on sunday. here's a look -- ben bernanke's term ends on sunday. here's a look, "the stock market is in a fragile state after having lost 5% of its value last week. the dow jones industrial average has fallen 537 points off in its worst week since march. the downturn was precipitated largely by dimming prospects for big banks in the wake of the president's populist proposals to tax them and limit their size and trading activities to
7:28 am
prevent further need for government bailout. but the route could worsen this week as populist sentiment against wall street bailouts conflicts with ben bernanke's term coming up." this is an article from mike allen, who interviewed timothy geithner last week. "when asked about the possible market reaction with the feed, timothy geithner mentioned that it would be very troubling tolee did not think they should be on certain, they should be confident, because he was confident that they would be reconfirmed.
7:29 am
caller: i think that bases are holding these banks and processors accountable for fraud. many, many people are distressed right now. the ones that have not lost their jobs, they were eligible and cable of paying mortgages that they could not do. they need to start holding these people responsible. that is when we will start to see relief for the people that have underwater mortgages. host: georgia, independent line, go ahead.
7:30 am
caller: i am not an economist, but when the federal government bails out these banks, why don't they limit interest rates? many of these banks are in trouble because the interest rates for variable. if they would lock in a national interest rate of 5% on home loans, 7.5% on automobile loans, instead of a cap -- host: a rate that the government should set? caller: i believe that it should cover all of the banks. they pay out roughly 2% to 3% on savings accounts anymore. cd's are not much higher than that. if they're making more than the banks in interest on savings,
7:31 am
they should be able to survive on a business loan. host: this is the view from memphis, republican line. caller: the money should go to the homeowners. we would have paid off our homes, because we want to stay in them. this has become such a sophisticated game, there is no way that we can understand. we understand purchasing a home, paying for it, improving it, hoping for the value to go up, staying in it and passing on as a value for the family. also by the fact that they can value our homes and we have no control over that period no
7:32 am
matter how much is put in the home, they did not have the value necessary for us to do what we need to do financially. even if you had an amazing credits for, it meant nothing. if they had given the money to the homeowners and let them pay off, that would have taken our largest payment of of our back, so we could have purchased more materials, got in people to work, maintaining our homes, improving our homes, but it is not about that. it is about the power the the federal reserve bank has, that all of the banks in the industry now have in our lives in this global economy. they do not care about how we maintain our economic business and our own personal homes.
7:33 am
if it does not fit into their picture, they do not care. they break the law and to do mean-spirited things to us. like they're doing right now, threatening to throw me and my sister, who i take care of, threatening to throw us out of our homes. host: thank you for the call this morning. a headline in "the financial times" says "general mcchrystal hopes to find a peace deal in working on a deal with the taliban. he has raised the prospect that the troop surge will lead to a negotiated settlement and he has urged his allies to review and renew their commitment to his
7:34 am
strategy. he said that he was prepared to make demonstrably positive progress this year." christine, democratic line. looking at mortgage relief on the part of the federal government, what do you think? caller: i am a democrat, i will soon be switching to the green party. host: what is behind your switch bella caller: i think we need another party, nothing is being done in washington. tim holden is a democrat in name only. as far as the mortgages, i
7:35 am
suspect that there are a lot of these upside-down mortgages for people with second homes, third homes, and investors. if that is the case, what percentage of upside-down mortgages did into that category? they can get any money as far as the federal government in aid for helping them. chances for luxury of living in a risky investment. host: tim, florida, independent line. your thoughts? caller: a lot of the problem is that people do not have jobs. if we put people back to work
7:36 am
and gave these companies tax incentives to get our manufacturing base back to the united states, enforcing immigration laws, that is like 8 million jobs right there. it don't take a rocket scientist. companies are a point want to pay more to get these people become the work. if they paid a little more, the prospects would still be going up. it would not matter if we had the legal work force or stuff was being made in china or wherever. kind of a no brainer, in my opinion. host: broken arrow, a republican line. caller: how are you this morning? host: fine, go ahead. i am going to put you on hold,
7:37 am
just make sure that you turn down your television or radio, you are feeding back on us. crestwood, ky. caller: the question is, of course, if there should be more federal aid. i think maybe federal intervention would be a better word. what people do not realize is that china jumped into this recession with us. basically they did the same thing that we did. they did a huge stimulus plan. but they had stipulations. they do that have executives or financial people making $200 million bonuses, so it went back into the economy, which is exactly what obama was trying to do.
7:38 am
however, if you look at the stimulus for the real estate and the cars, it actually worked, because we get handed over to the manufacturers. but in the banking industry, what did they do? this was of profit, we did say. the plan of profit for the bonus structure, it is hard for me to imagine that they can make a bonus structure that basically kills the economy. if you did that in china, i am sure that they have some kind of anti-chinese laws where you are hurting the country and they throw you into jail. we do not do that. we let these guys walk away with our money and at this point no one is saying anything. host: thank you for your input. the firm -- the term of ben
7:39 am
bernanke ends on sunday. senate, "likely to reconfirm bipartisan support for a key economic player." the lead editorial from "the wall street journal" as "the political turn on a banker, more ominous for creating the market mania. much of wall street wants to see mr. burnszynski confirmed. they're making a bundle off of that policy. the banks do not want to end that. the banks also love-interest rates in the middle of the last decade. wall street always loves easy
7:40 am
money until inflation returns for the baubles pop." in the conclusion the right "the next fed chairman is going to need the market credibility and political support to raise interest rates when much of congress and wall street will be telling him to stay at 0%. that is the real reason to oppose a second term for chairman ben bernanke." back to broken arrow, okla.. sylvia, go ahead. caller: thank you so much. what individuals have become a first-time home buyer?
7:41 am
what department can you call where you speak to these individuals and they can reduce the assistance for home buyers? why, when you apply for these federal aid programs, why is this so limited? will we have many problems? is the rate at 6%? inflation and the cost of living being so low, is affecting all homeowners, currently. the new homeowners are becoming homeowners. that was my question this morning. thank you so much, i love calling in to the show. host: led to have you.
7:42 am
jonas, good morning. caller: good morning, america of. good morning. the fed is totally out of control. it seems that they are -- host: i did not quite hear you, you said that the fed is out of control? caller: yes, they are dismantling the republic. what we are going to see now is a police state being developed in america. the fed clearly knows that we do not have the money -- they do not have the money, they are running out and running on steam. it will be chaos. host: a couple more minutes of asking about federal mortgage aid. ben bernanke will be up for a vote in the u.s. senate. robert gibbs spoke about the nomination process yesterday.
7:43 am
>> you have the 60 votes that you need for confirmation bella >> you saw the statement from judd gregg and chris dodd, working together to ensure stability in our financial system by approving ben bernanke for a second term. we believe that he will be confirmed. i hope that you ask senators in later segments to come out in support of that stability in the financial system by insuring renomination of the fed chairman. now would be aid particularly bad time to send the signal to the international community and the overall financial system by playing politics in any way with this upcoming decision. host: robert gibbs yesterday of "fox news sunday." "wal-mart, sam's club, farming
7:44 am
out 10,000 jobs. engaged in a tough struggle to stand apart, turning to an independent marketing firm to handle in store marketing and warehouses nationwide. 90% of the work force will come from outsourcing the company's division of wal-mart stores inc., most of which are part- time jobs. -- jobs." fred, your thoughts on federal mortgage relief? caller: yes, i think they should stop all of this spending. let me put it in this scenario. with congress, they passed a $400 million omnibus and $870 billion stimulus package.
7:45 am
hundreds of billions of dollars, even the health care. no one would pay this stuff except a 1-year-old child. if you took that money, a kidnapper would pay it. host: lina, democratic line. caller: they said that everyone over 18 with 0 $50,000. people that were in trouble with their mortgage, they could have skated down. they could have paid down their house, purchased a car. de spending the money.
7:46 am
the system has a way where the government control all of us, i believe. host: thank you all the calls. we are turning to look at the week ahead in politics on capitol hill. we will be speaking to liz sidoti and jennifer haberkorn, they will be joining us for the next 45 minutes or so. your calls with of course be welcome. we will be right back. ♪
7:47 am
fifth >> this week, the former head of the national association of broadcasters, gordon smith, talking about the plan to offend the broadcast spectrum and what it might mean for broadcasters. that is tonight, c-span 2. wednesday, the president lays out his vision for the future of the country and his plan to deal with issues like unemployment, health care, and the wars in iraq and afghanistan. the state of the union address, our coverage starts on c-span at 8:00. you can listen to the address live on your iphone as well. >> book tv welcomes the former
7:48 am
adviser to margaret thatcher, paul johnson. his latest book is on winston churchill. join our conversation, live from london, sunday, february 7. >> in the nation's capital and across the country, listen to cease and radio. it is also a free application for your iphone. c-span radio, covering washington like no other. >> "washington journal" continues. host: this week in congress, the second year of the obama administration. more liz sidoti liz with the associated press and jennifer haberkorn from "the washington times." good morning, welcome.
7:49 am
we'll start with you, jennifer, asking you about your story this morning in the politics section. that story is being reported elsewhere as well. for the president is expected to speak elsewhere about jobs, are they the number one issue? guest: it seems that way, after the election in massachusetts, health care seems to be in the back burner. people want jobs, they want the economy to improve, so they will be working on that, and i think he will see that reflected in the state of the union address. host: a more visible role in the white house, over the weekend in "the washington post, they
7:50 am
had this, "the white house toughens its town." guest: i think that the white house was taken off guard by what happened in massachusetts. they are at a point right now where they realize that if they do not address the anger in the country, but these house and senate races across the country that are incredibly close, in places the would not expect competitive races, you are really going to have problems. in the first midterm election of the presidency they always lose seats. democrats are saying look, we guest: he will be the vote, if it areot even sure that there will be another one. he woulde
7:51 am
harry reid was joking that this 41st seat makes his job easier. now he needs to get a republican on board. that maybe there will be more bipartisanship. host: there is a have -- headline havind how does the white house pivot off of this? it was a key element of their campaign. guest: they have accelerated their pace, it was already a part of their plan, but the win in massachusetts were shocking to them. as well as the public's anger. the one thing that they've learned, if nothing else, they had conflated the stimulus and the wall street bailouts, as
7:52 am
well as every other major proposal, saying that they're not getting anything, the public is not getting anything, wall street is not getting -- wall street is getting everything. in fact, that was not the case. there is a lot of miscommunication between what the president wants to do and what the public is feeling. this is meant to show that the white house is doing something. whether or not that works in 10 months remains to be seen. host: they have the state of the union on wednesday. reconfirmation for ben bernanke this week. if you did think about what you might be writing about at the end of the week, with the story be? guest: let's back up -- last week was a terrible week to be a democrat. it was the toughest week they'll
7:53 am
have in a year. this week they hope to have a headline at the end of week saying that barack obama got his mojo back. i am not convinced of that well happen, but they are going to try. he is were to hit the road and go to florida on thursday as part of an effort to hold a town hall meetings and do what he did during the campaign, getting out there and mixing up with the public, doing the i feel your pain thing. that is harder for him to do, he is no bill clinton and it comes to the public, but he will try. host: what about bringing republicans on board for job creation? on the floor of the house and elsewhere, they have said that it is all about jobs. now that the president is giving the jobs, will republicans be on
7:54 am
board? guest: everyone likes the idea in theory. but over christmas there was no republican support. they are very apprehensive to spend more money. creating jobs is expensive. in theory they want to create jobs. guest of the republicans have done very well in simply opposing barack obama. and about one year ago, where the republicans were. now because of the tea party in victories in virginia and new jersey, opposing obama seems to work well for republicans.
7:55 am
host: how long will that hold up? guest: a good question, i do not know the answer. guest: the more that they killed these agenda items, they have to simply buy time. they have very little incentive, at this point, to help the president. host: mary, florida, go ahead. caller: i hear you. i have a question. why are republicans taking all of the credit for senator brown? he did not once mention republicans. he did not run as a republican and they are taking all of the credit. we could not get out the vote in
7:56 am
massachusetts. we knew that when they came out. guest: she is right, he did not run as a republican. some republicans have been very cautious to point out what just happened, given the voter anger at the economy. i think the republicans take this as a good sign, but they know they're not finished. host: it seems that he was able to tap into the things that resonated in the obama campaign. guest: what is going on in this country half his bigger than obama and scott brown off -- going on in this country is bigger than obama and scott
7:57 am
brown, virginia and new jersey. people thought that obama was going to do things differently. rhetoric ran into reality when it comes to government. he has found that it is tougher to change washington. i am not sure how long the public is willing to wait. that said, someone else that comes along and promises the same thing is going to be much more attractive to this the spirit of public. -- dispirited public. host: california, good morning. caller: you can simply deal in his speeches with blah, blah, blah. we know what he is doing with fannie mae and freddie mac. i compared a document for escrow yesterday, there were
7:58 am
four loans on that with no payments for two of them. he has got all of the communists, acorn, all of these people lined up. he was smacked down in massachusetts and he will get smacked down again and again. he said that this was not about him? this is absolutely about him, personally. host: you are seeing the majority of america still liking the president, personally. they like what he is saying. what they do not like are the policy implications. what you will see during the state of the union is him trying to reach that middle-class, trying to reach that anger and frustration and giving people a reason to be hopeful again. .
7:59 am
guest: i don't think you will see much of a shake-up. the thought of ben bernanke not getting confirmed to, wall street had a rough week last week. host: baltimore, maryland, you are feeding back, turn down your television or radio and we will go on to lafayette, louisiana
8:00 am
this is our democrats lied. -- line. caller: they said the president was doing too much at one time. as americans, we should be steadfast and believe that we can turn this economy around a one year. the president needs to build it to job creation so that we can see he is concerned about getting jobs started again. he needs to exploit my health care is important to job creation. i hope the white house is listening and nancy pelosi is listing. they need to realize that if we are going to pass health care and what that will do, if we can get it passed and allow corporations to buy into a bigger pool, nationwide, that will give -- that will help them buy at a cheaper rate and free
8:01 am
up money to hire more people having good health care, when these jobs start coming back, you have a lot of people with pre-existing conditions. host: a lot of things to handle. do you want to take a stab at those comments? guest: that was an argument that the democrats are making of the health care bill and whether it will create jobs. now that democrats have made the argument that the health-care needs to be fixed, it will be interesting to see that now they have a scott brown victory and many things stacked against them, they made the pitch that we need to do this to save the country. host: is there any interest in a scaled-down version getting through? guest: that is one of the most plausible outcomes here. they can't do nothing, the deadly scaled-down bill, and a scaled-down bill seems to be the
8:02 am
most plausible solution preferred option is to have the house passed the senate bill. speaker pelosi has said the bill will never passed the house. the scaled-down bill is most likely to happen. host: were the expectations to live his first year for president barack obama? guest: that is a fair question because the white house's perception is that we have a ton of political capital coming out of the 2008 campaign and they want to spend it. they want to do as much as they can assure window. the public is behind them. republicans believe that they misread the mandate from the public. they think the public wanted a change for the public is very simple and as a short attention span. the white house continues to say that change takes time and we're seeing that.
8:03 am
think about how long we watched the debate over health care. everyone thought it was at the brink. it fell through because of the results of massachusetts. maybe there was a promising of too much. voters say that he should have fixed the problems with the economy first. his viewpoint is that health care was one of the problems and it was needed to be fixed. you can argue both ways. host: on, go ahead, independent line. caller: good morning, everyone. i am not sure why president obama did not get rid of a lot of the people that president bush had. they contributed to this a prime lending problem. the office of comptroller of the currency did absolutely nothing to regulate the u.s.
8:04 am
national banks. i am quite confused as to why they gave the wall street investment bankers all of this funding in lieu of the setting up of a fund for homeowners and foreclosures to help them with loan modifications. thank you. host: thank you, maryland. guest: i am not sure about the comptroller of the currency. the concern about the mortgages, i think they will try to address that in the house bill that will extend unemployment benefits and put some funding toward mortgages. host: there is a bill that passed the house but no republicans voted for it what would that bill have done? guest: it was $156 billion
8:05 am
credit would have put money toward extending unemployment benefits again and added money for infrastructure projects/ it has not come up to the senate yet, it will public, this week. caller: i would like to ask how they decide on what articles they read about or what problems that rightabout. -- write about. there is something that has not been written about and that is that president obama has been in office -- where he went to school, what his background was -- host: what drives you choosing a
8:06 am
story? guest: i have a crew of regular people who i talked to. i travel a lot and go sit in diners and post offices and visit and travel around the country and see what real people are talking about. it is easy to get caught up in washington host: did you get up to the lot -- massachusetts race? guest: no, i did not get up there. it's not upon us and we have a strong crew up there so there was no need for me to be up there. host: what drives your story? the story this morning is on job creation guest: my job is to write about what congress is doing and that drives a lot of my reporting. i read about what congress is up
8:07 am
to and what they have done and what they're going to do. there's often a disconnect between what congress is doing and we saw that in the results in massachusetts. republicans and democrats are saying that this was a wake-up call. host: this is newport, tenn., on our independent line. caller: good morning, i have a statement in question -- when president obama did the health care bill, he took the health ♪8 and the pharmaceuticals, and brian dorgan co-sponsored a bill last year where you could get pharmaceuticals from another country and president obama kill the bill. all these taxes you're talking about, it worked out to be
8:08 am
around $13.25 per week and i have to pay taxes on that. the american people better figure out that walter is running congress, the senate, and the presidency. the american people sure did not get benefit of this. host: he mentioned to taxes. is that likely to be part of the president's state of the union speech? will taxes go up? >> guest: he will talk about middle class families and a whole host of ways. none of us have seen the final version of the bel pre to say whether or not he will institute more taxes, that is something we will have to wait and see. given the political climate, it would be incredibly difficult for him to raise taxes on the middle class or race taxes on anybody but the top earners in this country. this is a really tenuis environment for democrats now.
8:09 am
they are watching that carefully. you may see the republicans take over the house, if they are not careful. it is a long shot but it will be less of a long shot. host: the comp -- the caller mentioned senator dorgan's efforts on the importation of prescriptions from other countries. what happened and why did that fail? guest: this would have allowed people in the u.s. to import pharmaceuticals from canada. the pharmaceutical companies were strongly opposed to it. that would add new competition to them and drive down prices. there were a number of lawmakers, senator mccain for example, who worked with the pharmaceutical companies to kill the bill in exchange for the pharmaceutical companies'
8:10 am
support for the health care bill. host: use at the white house made a deal with the pharmaceutical industry. why wouldn't the white house be receptive to legislation like that? guest: pharmaceutical companies were very opposed to this amendment. 9lqthey always opposed it. it was reported that the white house had this deal with the pharmaceutical companies to support health care reform in exchange for opposing this kind of amendment. because host: from middletown, connecticut, on our democrats line. caller: i am a democrat. it is obvious that the only strategy that republicans have is to oppose everything that president barack obama does let's stop forget that the blue dog democrats have also helped make a mess of obama's health care plan. isn't it a coincidence that all the blue dogs senators were also strong supporters of hillary
8:11 am
clinton for president? i detect a little sabotages. i think republicans would have been more comfortable with hillary clinton as president. she was for the war, a wall street, something to think about. host: can you brought that out to the role of hillary clinton in this administration? shaken out strongly lasttóu ween the administration's position on googled vs china. guest: secretary clinton as well as the president have tried to bury some of the animosity. she has taken on a role that state. she has not taken on the to roll, according to republicans. she has not been as vocal as secretary rice was. hillary clinton supporters are still very loyal to her.
8:12 am
i am not convinced that senators are voting that way because of their feelings for the president or the secretary one way or another. host: is she intentionally staying clear of domestic political issues to focus on state department issues? guest: that is her job. her job is not domestic policy. her job as international. international issues is international politics and she is a political base bridge understands politics and gets it and has now taken that knowledge to the national stage with some of her own personal issues that she has wanted to delve into. you are seeing that as she travels the world. host: our republican line, st. charles, illinois. caller: i am a republican but i am not happy with the illinois republican rparty.
8:13 am
i want to talk about one issue -- after listening to obama for one year, my wife and i have come to the conclusion that he is not honest. let me focus on one issue only although there are dozens pretty issue is insurance reform which he said we have to reform insurance companies. let me ask each reporter if he was so interested in reform, why work insurance companies and pharmacological companies supporting coakley so that brown would not win? host: high and we will get a response. guest: that is an interesting point that nobody had any idea that mr. brown would be coakley until the race until very close
8:14 am
to the end. maybe, if they had time, they would have put money into that race. i have not looked at the numbers and i do not know if they have put money into that race. i doubt that they did to any extent. that is an interesting point that if they had backed scott brown caller: [unintelligible] they had a large fund-raiser in washington supporting coakley, sponsored by insurance companies and pharmacological companies. host: were you aware of that? guest: before the election, i knew that coakley was in town and hold a fund-raiser. i don't know who was part of that host: how did that election get by the political folks at the white house and the campaign committees on capitol hill? guest: it did not get by all the
8:15 am
committees in washington. god by the democratic committee. -- it got by the democratic committee. the republicans knew in early december that this was a close race and among local you -- likely voters, it was only a three-point race. that woke them up. that "republicans up. kohlberg, they put a half a million dollars -- covertly, they put a half a million dollars into the race. the democrats had no idea it was disclosed and the republicans quietly kept being involved they did it under the river because they did not want the senate democrats or unions to pour money into a bridge too early. democrats were too late. they poured a ton of money in the last two weeks and it was not enough. host: is it true that the nrsc did not want a large media presence?
8:16 am
guest: scott brown was the republican on the ballot but he was not running as a republican barry was running as an independent. to have the senate republican campaign committee to run on his behalf was seen as not the smartest move. host: we have just under 50 minutes left -- 15 minutes left. north carolina, welcome. go ahead. caller: i was wondering if anybody has looked at a four- word corp.. i work for that around 2000 and i'm no microsoft marched with them. -- merged in with them.
8:17 am
ibm got out of their business but their stock -- and split. host: what is the company? caller: it is tandy corp. they own radio shack and it might be in the auto parts business now. host:fm any familiarity with th? our democrats line, good morning. caller: i hope you give me additional time to finish what i need to said. it is not bad but i had a couple of observations. i'm a retired journalist. two things about this entire debate that i find that this generation of journalists, including your two journalists, suddenly, the question of disinformation -- of this
8:18 am
information about tort reform and how the republicans used tort reform during the health care debate in august and except for a few changes, in the french press, no one has pointed out that door reform is essentially a state right. it is not something that congress or the president can arbitrarily say that can be changed. under the 10th amendment, those things do not fall under federal jurisdiction. they are given to the states. and a very states who would complain or hold onto states' rights, mainly the seven states, would be the first ones to jump up and scream bloody murder if we went to their courts and told them what their citizens could or could not do. host: did toward reform went up
8:19 am
in the final senate bill? guest: yes, there was a provision that would given states grant money to set up their own toward reform. it would be an experimental system where states could decide how they want to deal with it. they want to limit the amount of money that could be awarded. yes, it is a state's rights issue. there are many different laws in different states that restrict how much they could have done host: stuart, fla., on our independent line. caller: i would like to bring up the issue of scott brown as an independent. he is not independent. i did a google search on him and he is associated with apac and the neocon war against israel host: dallas, texas, republican line.
8:20 am
caller: of would like to ask more about the toward reform. i did not hear all of the question. tort reform. i am interested in some of the republican alternatives that they have offered for the health care plan. most particularly, being able to purchase insurance across state lines. i would like to know why we can do that now. how would that improve the system? i suspect it would be competition which always lowers prices. i am interested in the tort reform. have you done reporting on it? i would like cspan to do some in depth on that with people who are experts in this area so that i can learn more about it. host: banks for the suggestion. guest: the portability issue is something we have heard from the republicans.
8:21 am
frankly, i have not covered the ins and outs of the health care bill. general. guest: selling insurance across state lines was an idea that republicans strongly backed. there has been some push back on that issue from democrats. going back to tort reform, it was a republican idea as well. the president backed the idea in his speech to congress. host: what does the experience of the health care in the past year, in the debate say about how the president will approach future legislation on jobs and the economy? last year, he brought republican leaders to meetings at the white house. will we see less of that now? guest: 0 no, i think we will see more of that. you have to bring them and include in the conversation. let's not forget that what ended
8:22 am
up happening is there was a show of bipartisanship and at the end of the day, they're counting on the 60 votes from democrats in the senate to pass that bel pre he will not have that voice anymore. he has to be bipartisan. i look at this as an opportunity for him to live up to what he said he would do during the campaign which was include republicans. do republicans come back and want to be part of that. mitch mcconnell was one of them and want to get involved and bridges that divide. he wants to work with democrats. we will have to see if he actually does it. host: he asked -- he was as by a reporter if he could name a situation where he was an agreement with the president. he agreed on in afghanistan and that was about it. what about other possible air is a common ground? guest: that is not too long of a list.
8:23 am
when democrats had 60 votes, they were very -- their work among themselves and saw that with health care. some are saying that big a silver lining is that now that they need at least one republican, maybe there will be more bipartisanship. democrats will not just people and to their own party. senator lieberman, centre nelson, had enormous way and elbow because they needed all the democrats together. now that they need it least one republican, maybe those conversations will be more frequent and the little bit more realistic. maybe there will be more bipartisan shepherdeship. host: senators have come out before -- for and against ben bernanke. guest: you have democrats who are scared of the political
8:24 am
climate before up for reelection and recognizing that the public is angry about wall street bailouts. they are doing due diligence to protect themselves by opposing ben bernanke. on the flip side, the impact this would have a markets would be from an economist's point of view, pretty severe. host: colorado springs, democratic column. caller: morning. i have a question and a general comment. i'm not calling from the united states of america. i am calling from the united states of greed and power grid many of us out here are saying that we need to do what people of recognized for a while, that the united states is in big trouble. we need a coup d'etat in to pull together and forget about not
8:25 am
waking up your the best way to do that is to make sure that every vote gets counted. i am an old journalist and it surprises me that there has not been more questions asked, of course we do not have a free press these days, why are we not asking questions regarding boating, electronic voting equipment in massachusetts. in colorado springs, the league of women voters showed where a good republican was willing to testify that he had purchased special software to win the election. host: have you heard about a vote descanting issues in massachusetts? guest: that would not surprised because there are both accounting issues across the country. -- vote-accounting issues across
8:26 am
america. host: the amherst, mass., go ahead. caller: these two reporters are saying that massachusetts had no idea that people were so upset you are not doing your job because people have been upset. there are so many first-time voters in this cycle just to stop obama and his agenda. this is the united states of america. this is a government for the people, by the people, not to the people. that is the main issue we're losing here. people are unhappy. the news media should do their job instead of trying to push obama's agenda and let everything on republicans. i am just laughing at these
8:27 am
democrats that say they're caught off guard. they are not in touch with the people. if they were in touch, they would not be caught off guard. host: i will give you both a final comment. guest: the caller gets to the point that many lawmakers have. this is a wake-up call and they admit that they need to focus on jobs and the economy. i think we will see that especially this week very strongly. guest: completely agree. that is the message that the white house started to send as recently as last week when president barack obama said that he hears the paying. t he pain. host: what are you setting out to cover today? guest: i will look at the house races because there are republicans out there in primary races and are feeling challenges from the tea party movement.
8:28 am
that will pose problems from them in the general election. guest: one thing coming up this week that will be discussed is the debt burden that will talk about raising the debt limit and a debt commission. that comes into the same things we have talked about as far as jobs and the economy and a new- found interest in keeping the debt downgrade host: does the debt ceiling have to pass by a certain date? guest: i think january 31 but could be wrong that will be a big issue this week. host: thank you both for being with us. coming up next, we'll take a look at u.s. policy toward latin america with an expert at the johns hopkins university. first an update from cspan radio. >> it is 8:30 a.m. eastern time. president barack obama announces a series of economic
8:29 am
initiatives today aimed at helping middle-class families. this is days before his state of the union address proposals include doubling the child care tax credit, caps on student loan payments, and aid for families caring for elderly relatives. later in the day, the president welcomes the los angeles lakers, the nba champions, to the white house. monitoring of a direct contract is so weak they have no confidence in the accuracy of more than $1 billion in payments. there's a report that suggests that the state's are ill- equipped to keep track of the money flowing into afghanistan. there is a blast in afghanistan. two other blasts followed minutes later. police say a least 11 people were killed more on google and email hacking. china is denying involvement in recent internet attacks.
8:30 am
they are defending its online restrictions as lawful. this is after the united states urged beijing to investigate computer attacks against google. the company announced earlier this month that it would pull out of china unless the government relaxed its rules on censorship. those are some of the latest headlines on cspan radio. >> this afternoon, a couple of programs on the middle east -- national security adviser james jones talks about the obama administration's strategy in afghanistan and pakistan live coverage will be under way at two o'clock eastern here on c- span. later, senator carl levin who chairs the senate armed services committee will talk about his recent trip to afghanistan and pakistan and that is at 2:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> this week, on the communicators, former senator and now head of the national association of broadcasters, courtney smith on the fcc plan
8:31 am
to expand the broadband spectrum and what it might mean for broadcasters. that is tonight on c-span 2. wednesday, president barack obama delivers his first state of the union address to congress, laying out his vision for the future of the country and his plan to deal with issues like unemployment, health care, and the wars in iraq and afghanistan for the state of union address, wednesday night, our coverage starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also listen to the president's address live on your iphone. >> live, this february, book tv welcomes a british historian and former adviser to margaret thatcher, paul johnson his latest book is on winston churchill. join our three-hour conversation live from london with your phone calls for paul johnson, sunday, february 7, at noon eastern on c-span 2. in the nation's capital and
8:32 am
across the country, listen to cspan radio. in washington at 90.1 fm. is also a free application for iphone. washington journal continues. >> we have a political science professor from the johns hopkins school for advanced political policy. what is our policy currently in latin america and how different is it from the bush administration? >> we really don't have a policy to latin america. that is not a fault of the obama administration. the euna states needs universal bilateral policies in certain regions. there are many long past
8:33 am
policies for the night states -- the united states need to direct -- differentiate among different countries in the hemisphere. we have different priorities now. we are slow in washington on the hill and in the white house to come to that understanding. host: what is the political landscape in latin america? how has the landscape changed politically down there? guest: there is a much more diverse ideological group of countries such as venezuela and ecuador and bolivia which are not very friendly to the united states or to the market economy. on the other hand, we have a prpragmatic president likelula in central america. we have the problem of cuba and we have a terrible problem with haiti. host: on the issue of haiti,
8:34 am
there is an article about a question of commitment and can the united states lead a long effort to rebuild haiti. what will the u.s. effort their say about our overall commitment to latin america in general? guest: the united states is best served by multilateral action. for example, the united nations peacekeeping force in haiti has been let for a number of years successfully by brazil. host: they were there when the earthquake happened? guest: they began the first efforts to help the haitian people. it would be good to work with the brazilian people brazil is an increasingly wealthy country and they have experience in haiti so do not take the american legal the target bring in other countries and work out a common approach, a common policy. host: we are talking about latin
8:35 am
american policy and your calls and comments are welcome we will get to your calls momentarily. on the issue of the war on drugs in mexico, an issue that plays out regularly on the screens of american television, one article talks about the spanish quagmire. here's a brief comment in this piece about what is failing but the mexican drug order the mceuen drug war is a costly un winnable and predicated on the mets. there has been distorted statistics to bed history how -- there have been distorted statistics. will the new efforts be any
8:36 am
better in helping mexico in their drug wars? guest: does not seem so. the basic question is less the transportation of drugs than the consumption of drugs, the purchasing of drugs in the united states and western europe. until we deal with the current -- the issue of consumption, we will not deal with supply. many believe that mexico is fighting the u.s. problem. drugs are still reaching the u.s. market. guest: if we don't participate, it creates a griddle next national security issue? guest: we need to participate but there are many things united states could do like to deal with the flow of arms out of most mexicans are being killed by weapons exporter from the united states.
8:37 am
where is all the money going? why can we open a bank accounts and find out where the money from this terrible curse is actually going? host: is it your view that drug consumption has bite in the last few years? guest: very much so. we have a much wider variety of stuff that people can buy, unfortunately. host: first up is syracuse on and democrats . caller: 01 to ask about haiti and the bill clinton policy and that record -- i wanted to ask about haiti and the bill clinton policy in that regard. there's an issue about the phone company privatization and bill clinton wanted the company to become privatized.
8:38 am
there is a move toward pushing jean-paul aristide out. he got away with $9 billion. can you speak to that? guest: i really can't comment on how much president aristide has in his bank account. bill clinton is the special envoy to to the united nations to haiti. the clintons know haiti and they were there when they were younger. he has been there during the recent crisis. we need to look forward rather than going backward and looking at the decisions taken back in the 1990's. we need a comprehensive rebuilding program that must be multilateral in which president clinton will play a part but not be the leader. host: baltimore is next, independent line. caller: the united states jumped
8:39 am
an end -- should jump in and help other countries. the united nations should do it and other countries should come in. when something happens, the country that wants to take over instead of the united states should say that we don't need our help guest: i think the approach should be moultrie collateral and we should do more perplexing for a crisis. there will be another earthquake or some money someplace in the world. the united nations should have a command structure that is ready to go into place and work with a number of countries and they can provide different kinds of aid and assistance. that should be ready to go immediately and not debate who will be involved. host: next call is from portsmouth, rhode island. caller: our relationship with cuba seems to be so heavy handed. they are communists but there
8:40 am
are avoidance of corporatism. we do business with china, the largest communist country in the world. that makes me wonder -- we do treat everyone different. a lot of it is for our own interest. it seems rather odd to me. hostguest: the embargo from junt is counter productive. it is the lifeline for the castro brothers. every time there's a problem in cuba, bacon said it is not because of democracy, they can say is because of the united states embargo. lifting the embargo some say would lift the castro brothers out of power. host: what is the policy been there? guest: the president has been a possible for families to go back
8:41 am
and be reunited. travel is easier but the embargo is a critical question for the island as a poor island and it should be wealthy. with the embargo in place, it never will they. host: our democrats line is next. caller the pthey cannot grow ane d new that 20 and 40 years ago that place was in trouble. i don't know why you say this stuff about the mexican drug war. yes, our guns are going down there and we should stop the guns. we should not be manufacturing the way we are. that is about the only thing made in america still are . the number one thing may be that these are a bunch of stupid young kids remember when issue
8:42 am
was to legalize marijuana. it is now legal in california and new jersey. you can now get in 1 ounce a month if you have cancer or aids. the drugs are not all horrible. most of the horrible drugs are manufactured by are pharmaceutical companies and people abuse them. guest: the drug issue is very complicated. it is supply and demand for it is one that neither the europeans or the americans or latin americans have been able to come to grips with are the drugs are having a big effect in latin america. this was not true 20 years ago. we will not resolve this overnight. we need to focus on the issue now that the mexican society is bleeding very badly. united states needs to be concerned about that. secretary of state clinton said this last year. host: a dealer is asking if
8:43 am
cuba got an earthquake like haiti, would we be there to rebuild a communist regime? guest: that is an issue of helping out a country that has terrible problems and we certainly should from a humanitarian point of view. it should be a multilateral so that the united states cannot be blatant. med. host: the venezuelan president has ordered a popular television station off the air. rctv would not televise hugo chavez' speech. there's an editorial piece that says revolution in rowing. -- in her (what is your assessment of venezuela and its government?
8:44 am
guest: president java's is an unpredictable and wallets of individual in latin american politics. when he is on medication, he is not in bad shape. when he is not on his medication, he makes statements. he does not like most of the other presidents and latin america. the ball of our revolution -- what he has done successfully is to almost destroyed venezuelan democracy, the free press, and a market economy. the interesting question is how much longer he will be tolerated. host: -- the 80 situation only deepens the whole of hugo chavez bread
8:45 am
but -- the haiti situation only deepens the whole hugo chavez hole. the united states is an empire and an evil force in the region, according to them. guest: president chavez has problems with other governments. 4lñhis army is not prepared to fight a war. he has been active in attempting to undermine u.s. interests throughout the region. he has not been successful there either. there are three or four governments that work with president chavez persia. you have a leader like you get a job as -- like hugo chavez who do not know how to govern host: what about lifting thei embargo
8:46 am
to venezuela? guest: we would have to be very careful to provide support for the caribbean islands that take the torch and that once went to cuba from the united states. we need to have a plan in place to get economic support for those island countries. the transition in cuba which i hope would be democratic should not fall into the hands of either the very left or very rights in cuba. the organization of american states needs to be involved. host: what about other political parties in cuba that might fill the void? guest: there's a very active human rights movement in cuba. they have suffered abuse and while there are no parties, there are civilian groups that would step forward, intellectuals, not on like
8:47 am
hungary and the 1950's. -- in the 1950's. host: the town of sugar growth in virginia is next. caller: i'm calling about the drug war. from what i understand, the united states is using about 80% of the drug enforcement agency's funding every year and putting it toward marijuana control. given that about 20% of everybody in prison is there because of a non-violent drug offense, do you think that the failure of the drug war is a direct result of these practices? guest: i did not know that 80%
8:48 am
of our money was going to fight marijuana. if that is true, that is the wrong policy. that is complicated for any policy maker. it means we need a discussion of our present policy. host: 4 lauderdale is next on our democrat line. callerhost: turn down your telen or radio and we will get to you next% antonio, good morning on our republican line. caller: i think both parties have done a terrible job in the last few years. i do not understand why they will not touch the immigration policy. bebel -- they will main post offices but they will not touch
8:49 am
immigration. it is an ongoing problem that is getting worse. we have eight now and they want to bring those people here yet we are doing without jobs now. -- we have haiti now and they want to bring those people here yet we are doing without jobs. this is terrible for the haitians and i feel bad for them but nobody came to help the united states for louisiana and it is not cleaned up yet. other countries have to stop depending on us for us to rebuild and help themselves. by the way, i saw a beautiful fruits and vegetables in haiti being sold on the street. they have a beautiful countryside but nobody wanted to live out their print. re. guest: they have made many mistakes in haiti when we had
8:50 am
democrats or republicans in the white house and congress. the united states is not good at ruling other countries. we tried to rule haiti for a while and it did not work. they have a corrupt made of a leak that does not know how to govern. haiti has been bereft of leadership for a long time. the current president has probably been the most competent president of haiti in 50 years. he was beginning to rebuild the national development program and then the earthquake hit. yes to begin all over again. given that that initiative was beginning to look positive for the first time in many decades, i think the u.s. and latin american community should support the president in getting back on course. host: what other latin american country has a strong presence in the haiti relief efforts? guest: i think brazil is
8:51 am
probably the most important. 17 of them died in the earthquake. they have any strong commitment to this multilateral action and made it -- and they have been very well received. the asians love brazilian soccer. the brazilian soldiers -- the haitians love brazilian soccer. host: you have written extensively on brazil and had articles about how reform has powered the brazilian rise. how have things changed in brazil and what has been the role of government reform? guest: these are two successive governments of two different political parties in brazil. they want to maintain very low inflation. they have begun to reduce poverty for the first time in history with a family support program which is very
8:52 am
impressive. it goes directly to the families, not the politicians. they have begun to diversify their exports which creates jobs increased money which goes back to the brazilian people host: they are getting the olympics and a couple of years. guest: they are getting the games in 2012 and 2016. injustice is a problem but poverty is going down and people are moving into the middle class in brazil for the first time. host: they have also formed an alliance with russia, india, and china, the so-called bric countries. guest: goldman sachs began to look around the world and see you the new drivers of the economy would be in 30 years and taken up with the idea that brazil, india, russia would be the most important players in a world economy in 200030 or so.
8:53 am
that is proving to be true. brazil and it to the crisis lasted came out first. india and china are growing. these are very dynamic economies with tremendous resources. they are now becoming a potential replacement for much of the employees the u.s. and europe has had for a number of decades. host: what is the population of brazil? guest: about 190 million people. host: our next caller, go ahead. lake city, fla., on the independent line. caller: i want to know the opinion of the administration's position on honduras. guest: i think the united states has had a somewhat confused position. the white house and the capital had difficulties because of
8:54 am
congressional approval problems, the white house did not have an assistant secretary for latin america until late november, well after the crisis began. second, the hon door and issue became very deeply involved in local and regional level american politics. venezuela, brazil, they really need to sort that out now that we have a new government in honduras. the new president has held out an effort to make peace with the opposition. i am hoping within the structure of the organization of american states, the united states will cooperate to look forward and not look backward to a bad part of our history last year. host: when does the president elect to take office? guest: in a few weeks. host: there is a critical article on the u.s. and their
8:55 am
treatment of honduras. guest: the u.s. probably moved too quickly when the president was overthrown. the former president was going along the chavista route. the united states is very important military and security interests in honduras. the pentagon was interested to make sure that united states maintained as strong an open legs as we could with the honduran military. these are always very tough calls for a president or secretary of state. after the initial bumbling, we have probably done as well as we could under the circumstances. host: who is the strongest ally
8:56 am
in south america to the united states? guest: probably cause to recover. it is a middle-class country and americans go there for tourism. -- cost of rica. caller: is there a disconnected latin america between the economic stability and the political stability of the countries in south america? it seems there is a disconnected. these countries have not been very politically stable but their economies are able to be supported and grow. you mentioned the bilateral relations is a better way to go for policy in latin america. what other countries other than
8:57 am
brazil could we adopt that? guest: there are a number of countries we work very closely with. chile just had a presidential election and that was a major shift from the coalition of socialists to an independent on the democratic right. we will be able to work well with the president. there is a new president in uruguay. he is a pragmatic president. we work closely with the president of columbia and the government in peru. and burt brazil -- and brazil is one of our major allies. those countries that are economically stable, in particular chile, colombia, peru, we can work with them very well. there's probably no problem because economic stability has provided strong support of open democratic societies. countries like venezuela and ecuador have tremendous
8:58 am
political problems and will always have them ver. host: arlington, va., on a republican line. caller: it is interesting because we are talking about the governmental systems of latin america. maybe we should be talking about their economic situation. most of them are socialists. brazil is a socialist country. zelaya tried to change the constitution in order to extend his reign and the military stepped in and ousted him. there is a cause and affect their parenere. \ hugo chavez in venezuela is a wacky gag paruy.
8:59 am
the russians were playing word games with these guys and offering to build nuclear power plants for them. in exchange for natural gas. i think there is a threat there with russia and iran and with venezuela. .
9:00 am
guest: it's not that we don't have partners. it's that we need to work with partners that are predictable, democratic and transparent. and that means picking and choosing and i think the united states has done that well over the last two administrations. host: call from illinois. caller: in 1991, -- host: next call from maryland. caller: in 1991, [unintelligible] guest: i do not think anyone has a pick -- accused the president of being in najaf
9:01 am
president. he has restored stability to columbia. the is one of the closest allies in the region of the united states. he is a natural fit -- admirable figure who i hope will not run for a third term and step down as the constitution says he should do. host: has this arisen -- because a rise of drugs in mexico? guest: yes, it is kind of like a bubble. you push down in one place and it pops up somewhere else. aunt unfortunately, people want drugs. if they cannot get it through columbia, they will get -- to colombia, they will get it through some worlds. host
9:02 am
host: what is going on in argentina? guest: nothing ever goes well in argentina, unfortunately. it is a very rich country that has been very badly governed for many decades. and you have a very populist president, a woman who succeeded her husband as president. the two of them a sort of run argentine as though it were their form or their ranch. nothing is very clear in terms of policy. the central bank has been basically emasculated. the president of the bank is a
9:03 am
very fine painter, but he's had no independence since she has come into power. people are beginning to blame the central bank, which is not true, for the mistakes of their administration. what we need in latin america are strong central banks, like chile and brazil. in the banks that understand how to keep the inflation low and the money situation bonds and that is not happening in argentina. host: north carolina, go ahead. caller: i think this has been very unfair from the beginning. i mean, back to the clinton administration. they were sending those people back to haiti to get murder when -- to get murdered. and even when they said they were going to let them come here, there were going to send them to guantanamo bay.
9:04 am
when the cubans were leaving, we went and got them off of boats and got them out of here. and aristide, he was one of the only elected president that he ever had. though clinton said he had to go and when george bush got in there, he really told him he had to go. our policy and run the world is to put people in power that benefit us. this is what the american people were looking for when we voted obama in, is to change this policy and get out of this imperialists dick way of thinking. thanks host: for the input. -- this and realistic way of thinking. -- imperialistsic way of thinking. host: thanks for the input. any thoughts? guest: we need to the about long term, bipartisan support for construction.
9:05 am
we need to be cognizant of the fact we have a large haitian american population and they will be very much concerned as to what the white house and congress decide to do in the next months. host: as far as policy towards latin america, is there a general perception of what the leaders of latin america think about president obama? guest: obama is very popular in latin america. the united states is not as popular as the president is in some countries. but i think we are holding our own in the region. i think the president's should try to find time to the region. it would be a very exciting visit. in brazil, oden cried, chile, colombia -- are quituruguay, ch,
9:06 am
colombia, it would be a very good visit. host: washington, go ahead. caller: are you aware of the president's -- the brazilian president's speech in copenhagen where he said, the problem is the white people in the world. the second question is there is a country -- a company in brazil that is an offshore drilling company that in june, the obama administration gave a $15 billion loan to and i think is quite ironic that in february, george soros bought majority shares in that company. effectively, this administration has paid back george soros for getting elected with taxpayer funds. guest: i do not know anything about the second issue, but i can comment on the first.
9:07 am
the brazilian president is a colorful, charismatic leader. then he has been for some to, to a half years. very annoyed that they have had to do things that the united states and europe-not have to do. and he has -- have not had to do. and he has been very open about saying that they have not had to do things that they've had to do in developing countries. host: salt lake city, democratic cruller. caller: we have -- and democratic collar. host: we have more natural gas than any of the country. wyoming has a huge amount. we have not even put pipelines for the natural gas here in utah. canada, and i believe muskeo has
9:08 am
a huge amount of natural gas -- and i believe mexico has a huge amount of natural gas without going into the ocean. why is this all focused on venezuela? guest: very interesting question and i agree with you entirely. we should be looking at a comprehensive hemispheric energy policy that would reduce our reliance on venezuela tow -- totally and completely. that would include canada and i did not know there was damaged natural gas in the far west, but burn them in. -- bring them in. our big partner should be brazil. brazil has made major oil and gas discoveries over the last two years. it will be coming on line in the next three to five years. that should be the core of our hemisphere to energy policy. host: a headline reads, u.s.
9:09 am
faces resistance to his line am. what is china's presence. guest: the chinese are very sophisticated. they understand they cannot do with the russians or the iranians appear to be -- or what the man is relenza appear to be doing. tourism has grown in china. the chinese market is very important in terms of exports. once again, you mentioned earlier that brazil and china are part of this brick concept. that will be part of brazilian diplomacy as we move forward. host: tampa, fla., gerry on our independent line. are you for caller: lee with the collegeville -- caller: are you
9:10 am
familiar with the college of america's? the intention was to destabilize lot america. that goes back a while -- latin america. that goes back a while. guest: as far as i know, there are no current plans to destabilize latin america. the effort over the last 25 years has been to work with stable, predictable economic- democratic governments and to deal with the issues at hand over trade and investment. host: in bolivia and with morales, was the shape of the country? >guest: the imf has just about with a very favorable view of president carlos' leadership --
9:11 am
president moralises is doing in that country. it is an interesting case with how the leader can turn around the economy and begin to deal with the issues he needs to address. host: debbie in albuquerque. caller: listening to you and i'm quite amused with your take on history because a lot of people in america do not know the history of what on in central america and south america. i noticed you did not seem to mention anything about chile except they are doing so great. we talk about 9/11 here, but there was a 9/11 in chile in an 1970's, which we did. we basically destroyed the country. we try to come across in the world with this altar was to get to that we're going to help everybody, but we do not -- this
9:12 am
altruistic attitude that we're going to help everybody. but we do not. we do not like to talk about the mistakes that we have done, only the good things. but we almost destroyed chile and millions of people were killed under conditions at -- under pinochet. he was in charge for 20 years. he got in in 73 and got out of 93. guest: my math is quite good. yours is wrong. the united states was helping the transition to democracy in chile in the 1980's. yes, we work involved in a coup in 1973, which is regrettable. the united states has a very
9:13 am
strong, positive influence in chile and its reputation in chile today. host: thank you for joining us. coming of next, we will look at the future of the electric car. the greens seven comes to washington this week. we will talk to brian wynne of the electric vehicle association. but first, a news update from c- span radio. >> general stanley mcchrystal, the top nato commander in afghanistan in an interview earlier with the financial times acencio the increase in the number of american troops in afghanistan will help negotiate a peace treaty with the taliban. an international conference on afghanistan will likely endorse plans to lure let -- lord taliban fighters to lay down their weapons. -- to lure taliban wefighters to
9:14 am
lay down their weapons. the u.s. military has agreed to expedite a review of iraq and afghanistan veterans discharged with ptsd to determine whether they were improperly denied a net-benefits. the agreement came from a class- action suit originally filed by seven combat veterans who allege the military legally deny benefits to those discharged because of the disorder during a six year timeframe ending october 2008. hillary clinton and foreign ministers from a host of nations are meeting in montreal today to discuss improving aid to haiti and to consider its long-term reconstruction. today's meeting comes as aid workers continue delivering more food to the haitian people. and finally, japan's prime minister says he may cancel a military deal with washington on relocating u.s. troops. this after an election in okinawa shows residents oppose a marine base in their region.
9:15 am
he says that he must reflect the will of the people and that japan would renegotiate its accord with the u.s. and those are some of the headlines on c-span radio. >> this week on the -- on "the communicators" gordon smith on the sec plan to expand the broadband spectrum and what it might mean for broadcasters. that is tonight on c-span2. >> wednesday, president obama of delivers his first state of the union address to congress, laying out his vision for the country and to his plans on unemployment, health care and the wars in iraq and afghanistan. wednesday, our coverage starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also listen to it live on your iphone with the c-span radio application. >> book tv welcomes british historian and paul johnson,
9:16 am
author of over 40 books. join our 3 our conversation, live from london, with your phone calls sunday, for very seventh at noon eastern. -- sunday february 7 at noon eastern. "washington journal" continues. >> brian wynne -- brian wynne is here to speak with us about alterative hybrid vehicles, a battery plus gains and your event this week is the green summit, the green car summit that is happening in washington. what is going to go on at this summit? guest: and there are a variety
9:17 am
of executives like myself that are bringing alternative and advanced technology vehicles to the marketplace. we are promoting these vehicles to create a green jobs in this country, to reduce dependence on oil, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. host: 0 estimate by a year, at what point will alternative power -- what is your estimate, what point will the alternative darcars been vehicle in the united states? guest: difficult to estimate. most recently of course, we have had the introduction of hybrid vehicles. they have been in the market for 12 years now. their 1.3 -- there are 1.3 million vehicles that are hybrid vehicles on host: the road what do you drive?
9:18 am
guest: i cannot say exactly because i work for all of the manufacturers, but i do drive a hybrid. there are many of them on the road. as you mentioned, that is part of a portfolio of what you called configurations. but with a hybrid vehicles in the market. the next generation of those vehicles will be improvements of hybrids, and also plug in hybrids that will utilize more fuel for the cell itself. host: do you think the future of our transportation is this multi types of power and set of the one combustion engine or diesel or gasoline powered? do you think it will be able to compete and be prosperous as a business? guest: i do, there are many but -- vehicles in the fleet. we are 96% or 97% dependent
9:19 am
upon one commodity to move goods in this country. it is not good for our environment, our economics or our national security. what we promote in washington is policies that will move to a variety of these kinds of -- of this portfolio as rapidly as possible into the marketplace. host: your website,, a lot of folks can look and see what organization is doing, what vehicles are out there. during this segment will be showing you both videos and photos of many of the models that are out there. and of course in washington many are seeing the august on display. -- the autos on display. when we do these segments, and the electric powered cars, we often get the question about the
9:20 am
documentary. who killed the electric car the was done a number of years ago, chevy is efforts toward that? why does not work for chevrolet back then? guest: there were a whole raft of automakers the work introducing electric cars through the mid 1980's and early 1990's. a lot was learned from those early efforts to put electric vehicles on the world. there has also been a whole series of other technologies that have converged here. all of it was to optimize vehicle energy use. part of what came out of that with the development of hybrid vehicles. we are surprised, actually, at how much electric drive really boils down to software. microprocessor speed and software in these vehicles at
9:21 am
speeds that allows these two drug rings to work together. that is working for applications today. in the meantime -- these two drive trains to work together. in the meantime, we have worked to get these batteries well beyond what it was during the early example that was referred to in the movie, and primarily in california where there was an attempt to try to bring these vehicles to market. right now, people buy a vehicle that suits what they are quiet -- what is clear to do for them. for you and i in washington that may be in them -- one kind of vehicle. for a fleet owner, that is a different kind of vehicle and the key is to find the right technology solution that optimizes the energies, reduces the oil, displaces the oil was something that is domestically produced, which in this case is electricity. host: a number of callers waiting for you. the first one is up for -- from
9:22 am
pensacola. call ahead for mr. wynn. caller: my first comment is, obviously, you are paid by this industry, but as we all -- as we all know, the achilles' heel of the electric car is the battery and that technology is not going to be anywhere near commercially viable for a least 10 to 15 years. the problem with it is that it is a pollutant, the batteries, are they going to be protected in crashes? i think an amount -- a more immediate step would be the conversion of the combustion energy -- the commotion and june, to natural gas. -- the combustion engine to natural gas.
9:23 am
and i think that solar and wind power without government subsidies are not viable. guest: as it relates to batteries, the thing that we have really been striking here and observing here is prepared technologies. batteries have been good -- but have been developing for quite some time. there is a choice for pure electric vehicles going forward, and to some extent, plug in hybrid vehicles. the technology is quite robust at this time. it is used in this laptop that is here in the studio. it is used in everyone's itself alone. we're trying to get the technology -- in everyone's cellphone. we are trying to get back technology and make it a robust enough for transportation, which is rapidly becoming. of course, nothing is going to go on the road without meeting federal safety requirements.
9:24 am
we're going to warranties batteries in vehicles for 18 years. that is a big step for vehicle manufacturers. everyone is studying this technology with their partners in the battery industry. i want to emphasize that we also work very closely with all of the alternative fuels because the challenges that we are trying to address our very large challenges. the target is displacing petroleum, which is a giant vulnerability for this country from a national security perspective, economic perspective, and environmental perspective. we are encouraging the deployment of as many solutions as makes sense. host: next up, tenn., democratic collar. caller: i would like to say that
9:25 am
the chevy boltevolt that is schd to come out next year, that is not an electric car. it has a few batteries in it, but they will only take the car 30 or 40 miles and then it has a gasoline tank that kicks in generate enough electricity for the car to run. you can do that with compressed air instead of a gas fire -- gas power generator. you could have a compressed air generator because over in france and in india right now, they are selling cars that are powered exclusively by compressed air. and instead of trying to drive the entire car with that, you could use that technology to
9:26 am
simply turn a generator. host: we will hear mr. wynn's response. thanks for the call. guest: i had the great privilege of driving the chevy volt yesterday. it is a great car. and that particular approach is a pure battery extender with a range extenders. host: is he right to that it will get you 30 or 40 miles and then the generator takes over? guest: 40 miles, the gentleman is correct. each of the vehicle manufacturers is going to take a slightly different approach to this. that demonstrates the flexibility of this particular technology. they have taken that approach because their studies show that 70% of people in this country do not go more than 30 miles a day with their vehicle. but if you need to, this alternative is available for you so they can have a smaller
9:27 am
battery pack and then utilize this other kind of combustion engine. but you could run that combustion engine on gasoline or something else, which goes back to my earlier point. we want to displace petroleum. host: how this this support the infrastructure for various types of energy, whether the vehicle battery power, fue? > guest: if you're talking about charging, the good news is that electricity is ubiquitous. we need to go charging stations in. we think that people will primarily be charging at home as we begin rolling this out. charging at home is terrific because, number one, it is at
9:28 am
home. i can plug in my car and be able to program it to charge at a certain time of night, preferably when rates are a bit lower. we're working on regulations for that. the price of electricity is much cheaper than gasoline. when you driver at -- drive down the road is about 14 cents per mile with a gasoline powered car. with electricity, it is 2 cents per mile. host: would you do in an apartment where you cannot run extension cords of to your apartment? guest: as i said, people will adopt a vehicle for their own use and what is available to them. most of the people in these initial phases will be people with oranges, but i think as the demand increases, -- increasesgarages -- with ga
9:29 am
rages, but as increased demand, there will be a build up infrastructure. host: conn., joe, you're on the air. caller: the reason we do not have more of these vehicles on the road right now is because [unintelligible] i designed a car that would go 23 and three-quarters hours a day. the technology existed to make 500 mile cars back in the '60s and '70s [unintelligible] and just be careful with the wind mill farm. guest: thank you for the work that you did early on.
9:30 am
i'm surprised at how long people have been toiling in this vineyard, as we say. some of the original cars were electric cars. the issue has always been energy storage. gasoline is very good for carrying energy and now we're going to improve batteries. i think the point that he is making that i would like to respond to is, what is government's role here? let's face it, government plays a large role in transportation. we build the roads through government, bridges, highways, etc. government policy is really important here. capitol hill has raised this technology as a solution for getting our dependence off of petroleum. the way we are encouraging that is by reducing market hurdles and helping those technology breakthroughs in r&d.
9:31 am
host: how different is the obama administration's report -- approach to supporting your industry as opposed to previous administrations? guest: he has been very supportive. he was also a very supportive as a united states senator. he was one of the early supporters of our legislation. the energy security is one of the themes of this administration and this is one of the tools coming to the market. host: florida on the independent line. caller: as a former electronic engineer, retired from some massive projects. noticed one of the things that the car industry judiciously a avoids is the amount of energy that it would cause to reduce its lithium ion battery and subsequent a components. and people do not realize you
9:32 am
just do not distill of seawater to get hydrogen unless you consume a tremendous amount. also, the hydrogen is with the hydrogen or natural gas under tremendous pressure and extremely cold. the infrastructure to refuel our vehicles as an upturn to of power stores is very complex and -- as an alternative power source is very complex and dangerous. right now, we are a carbon based society and in terms of what hours per pound or cubic inch or counts of port -- of petroleum products, they seem to offer the best solution in the near term. we need to have an economic point of view and we should have a gradual transition. we should do all of our resources to do domestic oil, domestic natural gas and then
9:33 am
integrate through technology do something very cost-efficient. no. now, lithium ion batteries are not cost-efficient when you look at the amount of energy it costs to produce them. guest: you made a whole bunch of points that we could discuss most of the day. i will store where you ended, which is that we are in the process of gradually introducing this technology. the question is, can we accelerate it in a way that essentially addresses the challenges we have in front of us? i think we are, as a society, judiciously skirting over the true cost of petroleum, being dependent on petroleum. a lot of people talk about the price of gasoline, which is volatile, but the cost of dependents is enormous.
9:34 am
to say nothing of what an economist with called externalities', the cost of climate change, the cost to health risk and so forth that is associated with the carbon based transportation infrastructure. we're gradually embracing all resident -- technologies. we're starting with hybrid vehicles and -- alternative technologies. but we are starting with hybrid vehicles and gradually embracing others. but there are also many different applications year after the address. you need a flexible technology and batteries are breakthrough technology, essentially. it has also been an issue of energy storage. high costs are going to need to come down and always have come down over time. host: that earlier caller said something like 10 years before you have a commercially viable battery. you disagree with that.
9:35 am
guest: there are nicole hydrated batteries that are used today that are absolutely will approve and serve that application very well. host: and what did you say the warranty is going to be? guest: eight years is the industry standard for hybrid batteries and that sets the market standard for new technologies. host: what is the standard for vehicles on the road curley very very electric or a hybrid vehicle in the u.s.? -- currently that are either electric or hybrid vehicle in the u.s.? guest: it is typical tuesday. right now, about 2.5% of new car sales are hybrid vehicles. -- is difficult to say. host: next caller, please. caller: we are talking about gradually moving over from
9:36 am
gasoline engines to electric power. is it possibly without power steering fluid, no more exhaust, no more. floyd -- you know, all of the stuff that creates jobs, aren't we moving fully to this? guest: i agree with you, there are fewer moving parts in. electric vehicles then there are in combustion engine vehicles. i think the point, though, is that we are trying to establish an advanced technology manufacturing base for these kinds of vehicles right now. that is happening at a time when the auto industry is under tremendous pressure and changing rapidly. all of the autumn manufacturers are investing in this technology because electric motors are
9:37 am
better than combustion engines. they have always been more efficient and better than combustion engines. the trick is to figure out what is the best way to carry energy going forward. host: how important is that for the chevy volt to succeed? guest: they're putting a lot of investment into this particular vehicle and into this technology. if they're going to put their best foot forward -- nissan is doing the same thing with the leaf vehicle, which is doing its national tour and will be coming here to washington. and there are newer and better hybrids that are coming out all the time, including honda's, etc.. you see hybrid electric buses here in town that are at this point mainstream buses. 35% of the buses sold in this country today are hybrid electric buses.
9:38 am
when these new vehicles come out, they are benefiting from scale manufacturing and bring the cost down and they are bringing a good product. host: let's look at the chevy silverado truck. this is a hybrid vehicle? guest: it is a mild hybrid vehicle in that particular format. host: and chevrolet is able to say that this drug will do everything that the current -- this trucke will do everything that the current model gasoline powered truck can do? guest: correct. host: your green card show starting here in washington will go from city to city. what are you hearing from visitors?
9:39 am
guest: people are very excited about their hybrids. consumers have had a tremendous response to hybrids. people are very interested in, how do i evaluate when i put my car into the grid? the more they learn about 14 cents a mile with gasoline vs 2 cents a mile with electricity, people want to know how this is going to look in the future. these are genuine questions. we are doing more harm reached to explain to the public the different partners -- more outreach to explain the to the public the different partners that will be bringing things like electric charge to the marketplace. they're all in different regulatory environments, so regulatory authorities are getting involved to say, how do we use this technology, which is good for everyone host.
9:40 am
host: next call from texas, republican line. caller: i would like to bring up a deep dark secrets, which is the cost of the battery when you need to have it. all of these cars, but better than the gasoline car the, the electric car, the air car. i have seen a travel from california to albany, new york and back, nonstop. it has its own air compressor that provides its own air tank and it comes in four, six, or eight cylinder. it has no steering column, therefore, it has a digital steering system. it has air-conditioning, heat, even have liked. host: we had another, and from
9:41 am
another caller about that. guest: i am not an expert on that. i am a scuba diver, so i understand compressed air, and i know this is a viable way to go. the question is, how do we compete with the technology that has been around for 100 years and a fuel system that is intrenched? is it the air car? is it the of electric car, natural gas? the most of the beginning that i have seen in this particular world is that you've got to have a fuel structure and vehicle structure moving in parallel with one another, and we do. the utility industry is very excited about providing fuel for transportation and electricity is generated from domestic fees to a very high degree, and that is good for a lot of reasons. and the grid is going to get
9:42 am
cleaner overtime. it is still better right now to plug your car in. and we have environmental studies that show this from the natural defenses council. that is better to plug your car in today than to use gasoline. that tells you the fuel structure is moving in parallel with vehicle electrification, and that is exciting. host: how much is the federal government putting towards this in terms of research and development, grants, etc.? current, in 2010, do you have an idea? guest: previously, the money was focused on manufacturing and may lead batteries. we need to focus on getting to scale and the manufacturing is on components. the federal berman has been very supportive in this particular regard.
9:43 am
there were more money is related to electrification of transportation in the world of smart grid and so forth so at when you plug your car in -- that's when you plug your car in, these are also things being surveyed by the federal government at this time. host: you have carmakers like tesla, which is not a major car manufacturers. will they get some of the funding? guest: tesla has benefited from a slightly different program, which has to do with loans. that is an additional pot of money, and the exact number slips my mind. there are a variety of companies that are for debating in different elements of this program. host: coming from the transportation department? guest: actually, most of this is being disbursed from the department of energy. host: west virginia, independent
9:44 am
caller. caller: in west redding, if you're not going up ideal, you're going downhill. i was wondering how the electric cars would be in these environments -- in west virginia, if you're not going up a hill, you are going downhill. i was wondering how electric cars would be in these environments. guesthost: i did not catch the f that question. guest: that sounded like an engineers question. i will focus on his comment about hills. one thing we utilize in electric drive vehicles is called regenerative braking. when you're going downhill, the vehicle is actually charging the battery, capturing some of the kinetic energy that is available when you are going down the hill. obviously, it takes more energy to push the car up the hill.
9:45 am
i will say that is not exactly a wash. are using. we have embraced this technology in the city, but it also works particularly well on hills. host: tennessee, a democrat. caller: i think this is going to be good for the new generations. how will this work in the nascar industry? guest: oh, boy. again, this is very interesting because in formula one, we are actually seeing the diffusion of this technology, but i would need to know a lot more about how it mary's up with the engine itself to be able to explain how that works. -- how it comes together with the engine itself to be able to explain how that works.
9:46 am
there is an instantaneous work with an electric motor, that has always been true. one of the things that you see, for example, in the tesla -- the original tesla roadster is a very fast sports car. i have also had the privilege of driving that car and you know that you are driving a performance car when you get in that car. that is just as important when you are doing start and stop with a large refuse collection vehicle. this is a technology that can be utilized across the board. exactly how it plays for nascar, i'm not clear. host: you mentioned trash collection. we also see them around other cities as buses, etc.. what is the result in maintenance and affordability guest: on these that is one of the best stories that i have heard on these because the biggest cost for buses is
9:47 am
breaks. utilizing regenerative braking, there is actually less physical breaking going on. they are saving money on maintenance bills because of regenerative braking. host: sarah, independent line. caller: i have been interested in the funding aspect. i have been following a vehicle that was developed in california that has three wheels instead of four. and apparently, because they do not have four wheels, they cannot get the funding that other manufacturers get. this is not logical and i'm wondering what i can do to get the government to -- host: what part of california? caller: i believe it is in the san diego area. it is called the aptera. it is very aeronaut -- aerodynamically designed and i
9:48 am
would like to buy one. and i refuse to buy anything from general motors of thought -- as long as bob lutz -- host: ok, we will get a reaction to that. guest: in the two and three wheeled vehicles, there is a host of solutions that also worked for a variety of applications. aptera is a three wheeled vehicle. the financially, there must be cut costs somewhere. -- definitionally, their house to be cut cost some more. there also regulatory issues as well, how the vehicle is regulated from a safety point of view. some of those things get balanced against each other. host: you mentioned earlier there is software these vehicles.
9:49 am
where is the brain power for the software and the drive train, and most of the components, where is that soft for coming from, the u.s.? guest: yes, it is coming from the lithium ion batteries. there were actually invented in the united states. -- they were actually invented in the united states. all of the vehicle manufacturers are spending an enormous amount of time on the component and of this to take cost out, to take weight out because weight is very important in creating optimal energy and so forth. you've also got some very good technology companies who have been attracted to this particular game in order to provide what they think are bad -- or better mousetraps. host: nick on the republican line in florida. caller: i've got a question about how accurate at all this information is that has been
9:50 am
forced to the automakers about efficiency, cost and so on. what i know, talking to german people in engineering -- they have a successful engineering staff in germany -- and also here and so on. this technology is nothing new. we built the first electric battery in 1962. we did a hybrid in 1967. this technology is not brand new technology. we developed this in the 1960's. german companies to the same thing. and what it did, this amount of r&d is not cost-effective. the harvard was designed by general motors in 1967. they've got a patent. host: is that true, that the
9:51 am
prius hybrid patent was bought from general motors? guest: i do not know. i do know that the technology has been under way " -- for quite some time. as i said, i think there are a number of things that are different about today. we have benefited from all of that r&d work that has been putting vehicles into the mark -- marketplace. we have benefited from other technologies as well so that we can energy -- optimize energy use for a variety of platforms. the other biggest change is the economics. we now recognize that we are going to get challenged if we do not move to an advanced technology manufacturing base here in this country. host: he mentioned germany in his comments. what is the market like overseas, the percentage of people buying alternative hybrid
9:52 am
cars in europe and elsewhere? guest: is behind our curve here. in germany, and europe in general, has been very focused on diesel because of government policies that have advantaged that to kidder fuel. a large percentage of vehicles bought today our diesel vehicles. but again, there are a hybrid as well that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from those vehicles. the germans are very motivated on this and we will see this at the auto show. every single manufacturer is bringing technologies to the market that leverage electric drive. host: next up, arizona on our democratic -- minnesota on our democratic line. caller: in the 1970's i was in the automotive and is -- automotive industry in research and development, developing
9:53 am
processes through manufactured vehicles. some of these technologies like the test of variable frequency drive, we used that industry to convert -- to drive our conveyor systems. and the programmable logic controllers that they are using in vehicles, we used those to actually build parts for automobiles. it is unique for me to sit here at 75 years old and to see this being developed when some of the technology is that old. that is what i have to say. host: you have a lot of former engineers weighing in today. guest: i am not surprised and i am delighted to hear from you. thank you for the work that you did. i think the time has come for this, this particular approach. it is unique to see the utility industry and the vehicle manufacturers working together. it is heartening to see how many
9:54 am
new companies are coming into this field and bringing new technology and large companies that are bringing multiple technologies. general example -- general electric is a good example. they have smart card technology, the drive train technology. that is just one company, but there are many companies that are bringing these things together. i think the way it is coming together is unique today. host: one of the -- what are the political hurdles that your company has to clear to move forward with the industry? guest: i will say it is a unique situation. there are very few when you can bring a solution to a congressman, whether they are concerned with national security, environmental issues, or green jobs. of course, right now, it really is about how we invest in this
9:55 am
economy to employ people in the medium and long term. host: you suspect there will be stepped up demand for these type of vehicles? guest: i think there is enormous demand for them. for now, we think that the demand is going to get explosive depending upon the very volatile price of oil. we want to be ready for that demand as we go forward. and people are excited about the vehicles. you see that at the auto shows, too. host: next up is pennsylvania, democrats line. caller: in the 1980's i sort of an aftermarket forfirm through d motors. we converted rangers to basically all electric. there was a study that came out of california at the end of the 1990's -- i believe, calif. --
9:56 am
that said that the total cost of the electric vehicle verses gast was approximately 25% of it. in other words, the cost of gasoline in considering total cost at the pump, i think it wasb $25 per gallon and a comparative gas rate was i think, $4 on a btu basis. i was wondering why the industry does not take advantage of the lower cost over all of an electric powered vehicle. guest: i was there were an easy answer to that. i fear i would be trying to oversimplify if i answered that question. our referenced total cost, which
9:57 am
is also difficult to estimate, of a petroleum based structure. but we have the infrastructure today. the cost of energy, i do not think anyone thinks is going to go down in the future. the idea is that we have to get ready for a more cost intensive energy future. we need to optimize men -- optimize energy use. all the jumron that have been calling and working on solutions over the years, your work is now -- all of the gentleman that have been calling and working on solutions over the years, your work is now coming together. there are multiple industries working on this and it is a great technology. it is a technology that the consumers are increasing. host: north carolina, go ahead. caller: it will be a great day when america can pull its troops out of kuwait from guarding the oil depots and say our relationship is terminated at this date. my question is, something you
9:58 am
guys shortly touched on a little while ago, and that is, the oil industry and the political hurdles now, especially pertaining to highway safety. it seems to me given that this country is not out of an energy crisis, it
9:59 am

Washington Journal
CSPAN January 25, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST

News/Business. Journalists and policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.

TOPIC FREQUENCY United States 32, Washington 24, U.s. 21, Haiti 20, Brazil 20, Latin America 18, Us 16, America 14, Florida 14, Massachusetts 12, China 12, Afghanistan 12, Ben Bernanke 11, Chile 10, Clinton 9, Venezuela 8, Cuba 8, California 7, Scott Brown 6, Obama 5
Network CSPAN
Duration 03:00:00
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 1/25/2010